GIRLBOSS

Name: Stephanie Harper
Job title: Owner
Company: Mother Nurture

What does your job involve?
I sell Silverette breastfeeding cups which are a healing breastfeeding aid for the nipples, made in Italy. A typical week involves lots of emailing, calls, social media marketing, managing sales and stock, working with and sourcing retailers, customer service and basic book work.

Why did you get into this profession?
At the time there was no one selling the cups here in New Zealand and I knew there would be an interest in them. Of all the ideals I had about being a mother, being able to breastfeed was number one for me and I know that's the case for a lot of women. I knew that by making them available here I'd be helping other mums achieve breastfeeding success.

What do you like about your job the most?
Hearing the awesome feedback from mums. I've lost count of the number of times my customers have told me that the cups were an absolute saviour and helped them to continue feeding. I have become so passionate about breastfeeding, so doing something that is helping other breastfeeding mums makes me happy.

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What's the most challenging aspect of your role?
I think working from home with a toddler. It's also one of my favourite parts of the job but it's challenging. She is 17 months old and at that very clingy age. She hates me being on my phone and if I'm on my laptop she will cry until I pick her up so she can watch what I'm doing and bang the keys. I have to leave the bulk of my work until night-time when she is asleep. And with working from home comes the distractions! The housework is never-ending!

What's your proudest work moment?
Being asked to be included in the Girlboss section is hands down one of them! So stoked and receiving lovely feedback from customers about my service/follow-up.

What training/experience have you had to prepare for your role?
Apart from a few seminars/workshops I've attended, I've basically just learnt on the job, as I've gone along. I've definitely felt out of my depth at times with the advertising and marketing side of things, but luckily I've got access to some great resources (friends in the know and business mentors). Also, being a mum and my breastfeeding experience definitely helps me relate to my customers and the struggles they've encountered.

What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
It's not a piece of advice as such, but it was a quote I read from an entrepreneur a few years back. He said that the fear of failure is the single, biggest reason why so many people don't start their own business. That insight instantly resonated with me. Fast forward a few years and it was those words that came back to me and played over in my mind when I was deciding whether or not to start this venture.

What's the most important thing your current role has taught you?
Without trying to sound like I've pulled something out of a '90s self-help book, I'd say if you really believe in something, just go for it! Starting your own business can be daunting, especially if it's new territory. Patience is key when starting a new business. Some businesses take off from the moment they launch, but for the majority, it takes time to see results. But if you're passionate about what you do, work hard and seek help when you need it, you will do well.

Describe your work wardrobe.
It ranges from my pyjamas, to black pants, boots and a nice top. And there's always a breastfeeding bra or singlet underneath - my staples!


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